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Egyptian president sees instability if ” a drop of Egypt’s water is taken”

Ethiopian PM visiting Egypt in 2018. (Photo : Reuters via Arab Weekly

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Egyptian president Abdul Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Tuesday made remarks about the stalled negotiation over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).   

He did so during a press conference following a visit to the Suez Canal Authority, as reported by Ahram Online. 

Mr. El-sisi is quoted as saying “No one can take a drop of water from Egypt” or “there will be inconceivable instability in the region that no one could imagine.” 

Over 85 percent of the Nile water originates from Ethiopia but Egypt has been claiming a “historical right” over the Nile water – a claim that does not seem to give a room for equitable use of the Nile water in accordance with international law. 

Ethiopia did not respond to the latest threat of war from the Egyptian president. 

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Dina Muftia, on Tuesday  had a regular weekly briefing. He did mention Ethiopia’s legal right to equitably use water from Abbay river (Nile). 

“Ethiopia has legal and sovereign right to use the Nile water for development fairly and equitably and that Ethiopia has no interest in harming the lower Nile Basin countries in doing so,”  it was said. 

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Negotiation 

It has been over a year since Ethiopia withdrew from Washington brokered negotiations during the Donald Trump Administration. Since then, the negotiation had been going on with the African Union playing a role of leading and coordinating the negotiation. 

However, no agreement has been reached and the talk is stopped. 

Earlier this month, Egypt and Sudan proposed the addition of mediators namely the United States, the United Nations and European Union. Ethiopia rejected it saying there is no reason to take the negotiation outside the framework of the African Union emphasizing “African Solutions to African problems.”

Meanwhile, Ethiopia this week disclosed that the preparation, like clearing forests, to undertake the second phase of dam filling is underway. 

Sudan and Egypt consider the second filing of the dam as a “national security issue” if conducted without a binding agreement with the filling and operation of the dam. Ethiopia says that it will exploit the rainy months of July and August for the second phase of dam filling which will retain over 13 billion cubic meters of water.  

Egypt’s history of meddling in Ethiopian Affairs 

Egypt had been supporting Ethiopia dissent with the aim to destabilize the country. In 2016, the Ethiopian government accused Egypt of “meddling with internal affairs of Ethiopia by way of supporting radical ethno-nationalist forces,” including radical ethnic Oromo nationalists. 

The accusation came after hundreds of Ethiopians were killed in a stampede during Irrecha celebration in Bishoftu (Debre Zeit). 

At the time Egypt, whose Ambassador in Addis Ababa was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, denied allegations. 

Most Ethiopians tend to believe that Egypt has always been restless when it comes to supporting groups with hostile political agenda  to Ethiopia. 

Even prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration has been telling Ethiopians that there are hostile external actors behind some groups causing instabilities in Ethiopia albeit he did not name names. 

However, Egyptian attempts to destabilize Ethiopia have been unsuccessful so far. It remains to be seen if Egypt will hold on to the idea of military action on its own – or creating “inconceivable instability” in the region  – as El Sisi put it. 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. There is another even more disaster producing elephant in the room in every one of these three countries. Many experts have been screaming bloody murder and warning about it for many years now. Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have one common disaster in the making. It is called runaway population explosion. Citizens in all these countries have been multiplying like worms. A farmer who does not have the proper skills to produce more than one potato a day has the courage and audacity to produce 12 babies in 12 years or less. Even there is no dam built of the Blue Nile the current water flow from the river will not be sufficient to Egypt to sustain life considering the livable landscape it has now. It has been proven in black and white that the dam being built now will not adversely affect the flow the water from the river all the way to the delta in Alexandria. Ethiopia has even more serious problem in the making from this not managed population explosion. With very conservative leaders in both major religions their hard line stance on family planning will continue to kibosh any effort to do so. All these border and localized conflicts are directly linked to the sustaining resources being scarcer and scarcer to the growing mouths to feed. Military conflicts will not be the solution. What the leaders of these nations should do is stop acting like immature kids and sit down to sort it all out. I leave it to hydrology experts with level heads but I honestly believe there exists a median where it will be a win-win for everyone. Just imagine what will happen if a war breaks out between these countries. Blue Nile will definitely change course forever. What a disaster that will be especially for Egypt with more than one hundred million innocent citizens. Those of you who had the chance to live in Egypt should know how people live there. They are sardined along a narrow strip of livable land along the River Nile. If you take the capital Cairo more than 60% of the residents there live in slums. I am hearing now that Addis/Finfine is becoming just as such also. So these countries but cool it and be wise. In just 10 years from now their combined population will balloon past 300 million ‘feed me feed me’ mouths. By 2050? Forget about it!!!

  2. Subject: “{Egyptian president sees instability if ” a drop of Egypt’s water is taken” borkena, March 30, 2021

    \Commentary, 30 March 2021
    Permit me to be crude.
    First, I am sad to see the behaviour of SUDAN. I will leave it at that on my favorite good people.

    Now, to Egypt. Egypt is NOT — and has never been — interested in negotiation with “Abid“ Black Africans. It is demeaning to the Egyptians, In the eyes of Egypt,
    Egypt believes that Africans are not on the same natural level occupied by the self-anointed superior country like Egypt. In the eyes of Egyptian Leaders. the Black Race of Africa is not — and can never be — on the same level of Egypt. With that attitude, no respectable and equitable level of discussion would take place unless Egypt has a singular say on every thing that goes in Africa, pertaining to its interest.

    Don’t forget that an Egyptian Official suggested that an Egyptian representative should have the freedom to sit down in the meetings held by Ethiopians, in Ethiopia, if and when the discussion is about the Nile. In the opinion of the Egyptian, the fact that the source of the Nile is in Ethiopia means little unless an Egyptian attends to make sure that the Black Africans do not go astray and ‘foolishly’ hurt the superior pharaoh of Egypt.

    That has always been — and still is — the attitude of Egypt towards Black Africa. Take it or leave it.
    So, what is the sensible reaction of the owners of Africa.? THE END
    —————————————————————
    Footnote:
    This is addressed to the Chief Editor of borkena.com.
    I realize that my input is harsh. But, some times, such harshness is necessary to call a spade a spade. Or as the insightful Ethiopian saying goes : ቆማጣን ቆማጣ ካላልከው ኣብርየ ልፈትፍት ይላል ::

    Having said all the cover-up, I would not be alarmed if you decide to delete my commentary about the spoiled player.

  3. Admin I’m disappointed with your titling of the subject matter. Are you trying to make the clown leader of Egypt El Sisi as appropriate, in which he utterly and despicably behaved like a clown in front of the civilized world an approval? He desperate, he is loosing his mind to the label of insanity and lunacy.!
    Admin, you should have found a better title of your article that fits El Sisi’s behavior, he is retarded, lunacy in real time egregious, unwarranted, laughable clowning act that he displayed.

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